Yesterday was a touch bittersweet, at least on the culinary front. My wife Jan and I enjoyed another delicious Sunday lunch at Sawadee, the Thai restaurant in Cénac, but we did so knowing that it would be our last Thai meal of the year. As in the past, the restaurant closes for a few months as the owners head back to Thailand for their annual break.
I first wrote about Sawadee in a posting of September 5, 2013, called “Thai for a change.” Since then, and particularly this year, Jan and I have become regulars at the restaurant. We may not eat there weekly, but we come close.
Sawadee is located at the northern edge of Cénac, a village about 10 kilometres from Daglan, just before you reach the bridge that crosses the Dordogne River. Its exterior is nothing fancy, but the place itself is definitely worth trying. Here’s how it looked yesterday (which was warm enough, by the way, that some customers ate on the front patio):
The interior is on two levels, and is casual and pleasant enough. Here’s the view from our table yesterday:
But it’s the food that counts, of course, and Jan and I have both enjoyed anything we’ve ever ordered there. Chef uses lots of vegetables; seems to find the freshest products available; and cooks with a fine hand — cooked carrots are always the right texture, for instance, neither too soft nor too hard, and the rice is always perfectly steamed.
The portions are quite large as well, so we find there’s no need to order an entrée or dessert (much as I’d love to).
Here’s Jan’s serving of Pad Thai yesterday:
My favourite is a dish of finely sliced beef and lots of vegetables, cooked in oyster sauce, with a large serving of steamed rice. (I order it virtually every time we go.) Here’s my serving yesterday, and as you can see, the food is glistening:
I know several people around the Greater Daglan Area who are a bit frightened of Thai cooking, thinking that it will be too hot (in terms of spicing). Personally, I like lots of “spice” in many foods (Thai, Indian, Chinese, and Moroccan, for example), but by that I mean flavourful spices rather than heat.
If you fall into the heat-fearing category, give Sawadee a chance anyway. Chef will cook the food as mild as you’d like, and seems quite happy to “customize” dishes to your liking. For example, we always take a bottle of Jan’s gluten-free soy sauce when we go to Sawadee, and that’s what Chef uses in the dishes Jan orders.
But if you’re now tempted to give it a try, hold your horses. Like us, you’ll have to wait for the restaurant to open again, next March.